Elvis Presley’s catalog contains an impressive range that has become an integral part of American culture. One of his most memorable hits was “Jailhouse Rock.” This fast-paced song and the King’s performance of it in the film of the same name inspired many fans to get up and dance. Two such people were country superstars Travis Tritt and Trace Adkins.
Dressed in orange prison jumpsuits, the two outlaws joined forces to put on one jiving rendition of Presley’s classic. Tritt and Adkins performed the song live on CBS show Yes, Dear – and it looked like the duo was having the time of their lives in the process.
Tritt kicked off the performance and then traded lines back and forth with Adkins throughout the song. The best part of the performance came when the two talented singers joined forces on the chorus.
“Let’s rock, everybody, let’s rock. Everybody in the whole cell block. Was dancing to the Jailhouse Rock,” Adkins and Tritt singing together.
We can’t get over how good the two country superstars’ voices sound together!
One The Biggest Hit In the 1950s
Written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, “Jailhouse Rock” was featured in the Elvis Presley’s movie of the same name, where Presley played a wrongly accused convict who became a star when he got out.
Originally, the film was titled Ghost of a Chance. Leiber and Stoller were enlisted to write a song for the scene where inmates put on a prison show. The duo had the script and wrote “Jailhouse Rock.” After the song was recorded, it was clear that it would be a hit, so the movie was renamed Jailhouse Rock.
The single was then released in September 1957, and it quickly became a massive hit. It was No. 1 on the United States pop charts for seven weeks, and it also reached No. 1 on the country and R&B charts. In the United Kingdom, it entered the charts at No. 1, becoming the first song to do so.
On the other hand, the film was released in November that year, and it was considered one of the best movies of Presley. It became famous for the scene where Presley performed this song in an elaborate dance number involving Presley and a large group of male prisoners. In fact, the choreographed dance routine was featured among other classic musical numbers in the 1994 documentary, That’s Entertainment! III.
The Song Was Supposed To Be Silly
According to Rolling Stone, the two songwriters theme song for Presley’s third movie “was decidedly silly, the kind of tongue-in-cheek goof” they had come up with for the group, The Coasters. The King, however, sang it as straight rock and roll, overlooking the jokes in the lyrics, such as the suggestion of gay romance when inmate number forty-seven said to number three, “You’re the cutest jailbird I ever did see, I sure would be delighted with your company.”
Leiber and Stoller were known for writing catchy pop songs with elements of blues music. Their songs could be hilarious and clever, and often take place in unusual situations. And without a doubt, “Jailhouse Rock” is just one of their best creations. In 2016, the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. It was also included in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of ‘The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time’ at No. 67.
Tune in below and check out Adkins and Tritt’s irresistible performance of “Jailhouse Rock,” especially once you see Adkins’ dance moves thrown in there.